Windows 8 Can't Play DVDs Without Media Center UpgradeIt turns out that Windows 8 machines won’t be able to play DVDs out of the box. No, Microsoft is saving that ability for a Windows Media Center upgrade. That they can charge you for.
Ready to be nickel and dimed yet?
This functionality will be able to be purchased in a dedicated store accessible in the control panel.
To be fair, Microsoft does have a valid reason to charge for Windows Media Center: codecs cost money. MP3, H.264, decoding live television and DVDs are all proprietary technologies that must be licensed. If microsoft wants to be able to play a DVD on their system, well, they’re going to have to pay the fee. For their part, Microsoft is claiming that the Windows Media Center upgrade will be "in line with marginal costs," meaning that they are going to make it as cheap as possible without it costing them money.
Of course, a lot of these codecs came in Windows 7 for free. Another important one: Dolby Digital Plus. That will be provided free with the operating system, but only if the hardware manufacturer licenses the codec instead.
All in all Microsoft is making Windows 8 an operating system downright hostile to HTPC’s. If you love running your computer connected to your TV, well, you might want to put off upgrading any time soon. You will be losing functionality unless you pay Microsoft’s tax.
You know, at least Microsoft didn’t drop Windows Media Center altogether, as was the rumor. You can still get the great experience of the Windows 7 media center, you’ll just have to pay a premium for it.